Lit Mags to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right!
Questions for Juxtaprose; party with The Drift; 50 years of Pushcart anthology; 35 years of Santa Monica Review; advice for writers publishing online; work opportunities; 50+ markets & more
Welcome to our bi-weekly news roundup!
Greetings Lit Magffodils,
What’s going on with Juxtaprose Magazine?
It appears their last issue was in 2021. Their last blog post was in 2020. Their last tweet was in 2020.
Yet they are still open for submissions. They charge a $3 reading fee.
According to Duotrope, of 59 reported users, zero have received acceptances and 88% reported “non-responses,” meaning the work was either withdrawn after about six months or the work is still in the queue after nearly one year.
Maybe they’re backlogged, over-worked and hoping to catch up on all of this soon. Maybe it’s not such a big deal.
Except, they also appear to be backlogged on contests.
From this screenshot of their site, it appears that winners of their most recent contest were announced on March 7th, 2023.
No. That’s incorrect—sorry. Winners will be announced on or before March 26th, 2023.
Sorry, no, my bad! Winners will be announced on or before April 4th, 2023.
In fact, their site states “Juxtaprose reserves the right to extend the contest deadline as necessary, so long as the winners are announced by this date.”
Huh? Why would you extend a contest if you’d already selected the winners? And if the winners have indeed been announced, where are they listed? They are not on the website, from what I can tell.
Meanwhile, it seems they have actually not announced a contest winner since 2021.
And amidst all this confusion, they still continue to take submissions for contests.
How much do those entry fees cost, you wonder? Well, that’s not so easy to determine. Note below how general submissions are $3 but the other spaces are blank. It would appear that there is no fee for contests.
In fact, once you click on “Enter your submission,” scroll to the bottom of that next page, click another link to see the fee, you will discover it’s $25 for non-members.
What does all this mean?
In summary, we have a magazine that has not published for nearly two years and has no active Twitter presence, yet which remains open for $3 general submissions. Plus they continue to run contests, postpone the announcement of winners indefinitely, and charge $22-$25 for these contest entries.
What does it mean? You let me know.
Anyway, today is officially spring! So, let’s move on to sunnier things.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to party in the city with a hot young lit mag, you might enjoy Bindu Bansinath’s Dispatch From The Drift’s Latest Party. Writes Bansinath, “Their parties have become a media frenzy of their own, providing endless Twitter fodder…but a friend of mine described the whole evening best when she said, ‘They’re a gathering of nerds who want to drink and shit-talk The New Yorker.’”
Meanwhile, if you’ve ever wondered just what exactly the Pushcart Prize anthology is and how it got started, you might delight in this coverage at Poets and Writers Mag. Writes Gila Lyons,
From the beginning, Pushcart garnered surprising support from the very establishment it criticized…With such high-profile endorsements, inclusion in the Pushcart anthology has become a marker of prestige. For some it has even been a bridge between independent and mainstream publishing—perhaps an ironic twist for a press that began in resistance to commercial literature.
Long-standing lit mag Santa Monica Review also got some buzz as it celebrates 35 years of publishing. Writes the Lookout staff, “The Spring issue of Santa Monica Review -- which features many first time contributors -- includes 14 short stories and three essays, ‘many exploring memory, survival, and mythos,’ according to the journal's editor.”
Barstow & Grand also got press. Writes McKenna Scherer, “While the journal originally started out accepting submissions exclusively from the Valley, they have expanded to accept works from across the Upper Midwest while still keeping true to their mission of supporting local writers while opening up its platform.”
Gertrude Journal is changing its focus from a magazine to an annual writing conference.
Poetry journal Plainsongs has announced a hiatus after its spring/summer 2023 issue. The magazine has been publishing since 1980.
And on his Substack, Grant Warmack has some advice for writers who rely heavily on the internet for both publishing and storing their work:
Backup your own work. Save it. Save it again. Email it to yourself, email it to your friends. Print out a copy. Save a copy on google drive, dropbox, and maybe even on a physical thumbdrive. Screenshot it if you have to.
…I have lost a few short stories because I foolishly believed the internet is forever. That’s what they tell you over and over like a pop-infused mantra. I am here to tell you my friend(s), internet publishing is like building beautiful sandcastles that will most likely disintegrate into the ether one day depending on the digital wind patterns, geoengineering, tragedy, trauma or foolishness.
…You never know what might happen to your favorite online mag tomorrow.
…Back your shit up because one else will.
For those of you looking for work in the world of lit mags, here is what’s out there:
The Tomahawk Creek Review seeks a Poetry Editor.
Portrait of New England seeks Editors and a Social Media Manager.
Yellow Arrow Publishing has many open positions.
For those of you seeking homes for your minor miracles and major masterpieces:
Authors Publish has 50 Literary Journals That Pay Their Authors; Opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Authors this March
You can find more March opportunities here.
As for us, there is lots going on this week! I’ll be chatting with the Editors of Truly Adventurous, Atlas + Alice, and Cincinatti Review in the days ahead. Next week I will share my thoughts on Cincinatti Review’s latest issue for our Lit Mag Reading Club, so if you’re reading the issue, please be on the lookout in order to join the conversation.
You can learn about all of these interviews and register to participate here:
For April, we will be reading Iowa Review! I am looking into getting a discount to the journal for Lit Mag Reading Club participants. So keep your eyes peeled for that as well.
Finally, in response to the overwhelming enthusiasm to his article, Rattle Editor Tim Green has begun a list of lit mags that have updated their guidelines from “unpublished work only” to “uncurated work only.” You can view the list here. We hope to continue to see it grow!
And that you wide-open tulips with your faces bursting open toward the ever-elusive sun, you cranky curmudgeons who somehow always forget to remember that March can be so bitterly cold—a tease, it is, by Jove!—you with your ever-loopy longing for the lion to stop coming in like the cold wind and for the lamb to hurry up and go out like a beachy vacation, or something like that, you whose eyes dazzle at the brightest of hyacinths, you whose pupils swell at the sweetest of irises, you whose inner song can’t help but stamp out a sonata and better yet a sonata on roller-skates as it shimmies past the glittering splendor of so many azaleas draped around southerly clouds, you with all your spring resolutions, you with your new stick-to-it-ive-ness and rosy resolve, you heading out, forever and always, into the dreamy destiny of your peony-peppered path of pure radiant exuberant exactly you only you perfectly and precisely you selfness, is the news in literary magazines.
Have a most electric week, pals.
And now a word from our sponsors!
It's the final month to enter CLEAVER'S Form and Form-Breaking Poetry Contest judged by Diane Seuss! Send us your work that engages with or rebels from form. Read more and submit here by March 31.
Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee - Last Call!
It's last call for the 22nd annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers and co-sponsored by Duotrope.
There's no fee to enter. Submit one funny poem to win $2,000 and online publication. $3,500 in total prizes. Final judge: Jendi Reiter.
This contest accepts published and unpublished work. Length limit: 250 lines. Deadline: April 1. Submit online.
Got a question, comment, suggestion, inciting incident, excessive backstory, itch in a hard-to-reach place, or orange clockwork?
Know some friends, teachers, students, former lovers, lonely beekeepers, well-intentioned casino owners or well-connected consiglieres who need this newsletter right now?
Want to attend monthly info sessions, participate in the Lit Mag Reading Club, access all the content on this site and support this project forever by making sure we never have to do anything sinister at any sort of crossroads?
I contacted Submittable. They said if lots of writers let them know it is defunct, they will do something about it. Otherwise, they won't, and Juxtapose can continue on their merry way. so go ahead and let them know. It just feels like theft, to me.
I've had a submission with Juxtaprose for fifteen months. No response to my several requests for status. It really bothers me that there is, as of yet, no recourse for submitters who paid a fee and are left in the queue indefinitely. Taking people's money and not publishing ANYTHING sounds like a scam to me...where's the consumer protection for writers?